Good Grove/Bad Grove
We've learned, via Peggy Archer's blog, Totally Unauthorized," that someone has posted a rant about the mall of the moment on the restaurant worker blog, Bitter Waitress (scroll down to find the story, #6 in the queue.
The post details The Grove management's policy of charging mall employees for parking in the mall's parking structure. Due to this policy, many workers park for free outside the lot and face long walks to their cars at night. This can be a health hazard; so far, two workers have been stabbed to death while trying to get to their cars. In April of 2005, a waiter named Eric Gelman was stabbed to death and another waiter was stabbed to death earlier this month (we've looked in vain for a news item about this latest killing. Anybody have more info on this, send it and we'll post an update).
To add insult to injury, Rick Caruso, the The Grove's owner, won't allow employees to park in the parking structure at all on weekends, forcing them to pay $5 a day to park in the CBS TV Studio parking lot, which involves another hike to and from work.
Apparently, the mall owners punish restaurant workers who ignore the rule against parking in the structure on the weekend by charging a higher penalty fee beyond the parking maximum rate. The Bitter Waitress anonymous poster says "Then I say , next time you working late in the weekend, I give you money for parking in the garage, even you $12.00 maximum rate. She say,"Mama they raise the maximum rate. Is more than 12$ maximum for parking, they raise it to keep employees out of the parking so the customers can park and eating in the Cheesecake Factory."
If the employees go ahead and park in the structure on weekends, paying the maximum rate, how does management know to raise the maximum rate higher for the employees?
We don't know if this story is the real deal, but even if it's not, sounds like the Grove treats its service workers so badly that they have to post on Bitter Waitress. It must be the Bad Grove that harasses the service workers vital to its success.